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Storms cause damage throughout Utah; cleanup begins after flooding

By Whitney Evans | Posted - Jul 28th, 2013 @ 9:20pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — Heavy rains caused flooding and mudslides in several parts of the state Saturday and Sunday.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning early Sunday afternoon for Central, Northern, Southern and Southwest Utah, especially in burn scar, urban and slot canyon areas. The warning remained in effect through 10 p.m. Sunday.

Northern Utah

Saturday night's storm in northern Utah caused oil from a construction project in Hyde Park to run into a nearby canal.

A Hyde Park resident alerted city crews to the oil contamination around 7 p.m. Saturday after he spotted brown water in his irrigation ditch and smelled a burnt stench.

The top coat from a chip and seal project had not dried before the storm, and the contaminated water spread a little over three miles before it was rechanneled.

Residents were told to not use secondary water and not let their animals drink secondary water. Roughly 300 homes, including ranchers and farmers, were impacted, according to Hyde Park Mayor Bryan Cox.

The Health Department did not know how much oil got into the water, but said they were confident they captured most of it.

"We're satisfied that we really got the bulk of what got into the irrigation ditch in the first place," Keith Larsen, with the Bear River Health Department said.


Crews cleaned out the storm drains Sunday and the dirty water was channeled into a field on the west side of Highway 91.

Cox used a reverse 911 system to let residents know about the spill Saturday night. He will use the same system to alert them when they spill is cleaned up.

Irrigation could be open to residents as early as noon, Monday, according to city officials. Residents can report suspected contamination at 435-792-6576.

Wind was also a problem in Cache County. Logan saw gusts of at least 45 miles per hour Sunday afternoon.

In the Hyrum and Wellsville areas near Logan, high powered winds knocked trees over on power lines, leaving some homes in the area without power until Rocky Mountain Power could restore service, according to Randy Auman, communications director for Logan Police.

Southwest Utah

A storm in Cedar City affected the whole city and nearby Enoch. Basements were flooded, the roof of a local business caved in and nearly 5,700 residents in the two towns were left without power Saturday.

The Cedar City airport saw a record breaking 2.25 inches of rain on Saturday. The previous record was 2.10 inches in September 1967.

In Enoch, this brought back memories of the August 2012 storm that left about 50 homes flooded.

Thank the Lord that nothing came in. We was all OK. We're thankful for that anyway. We're thankful for the community.

–Ruben Burgess

"Although this event was not as extreme as we experienced last August, the challenges of overcoming this problem remain," Rob Dotson, Enoch City Manager said.

It took Ruben Burgess, a resident of Enoch, and his family six months to get back into their home after the 2012 storm. He was emotional as he recounted Saturday night's events.

"We had watched the clouds come in and it was very black all over. The rain came down so hard," he said.

If residents has not "fought furiously to keep the water out of the house," they and many others may have flooded.

"Thank the Lord that nothing came in. We was all OK. We're thankful for that anyway. We're thankful for the community."

Central Utah

A mudslide five miles south of Duchesne interrupted traffic Sunday afternoon. The road was not shut down but small cars were warned to stay clear of the area, according to Vernal dispatch.

Mud was so thick — three to four inches in some spots — that the pavement underneath was not visible for about 100 yards of road between mileposts 288 and 289 on state road 191 in the Indian Canyon area, according to Utah Highway Patrol trooper Jalaine Hawkes.

Troopers from the Utah Department of Transportation received the call around 3:30 p.m. and cleared off enough roadway to let one lane of traffic through by about 5:30 p.m., Sunday. By 8:30 p.m., they had the road completely clear, and the Department of Transportation confirmed there was no road damage.

Hawkes cautioned drivers to watch for slides in areas with "steep areas on either side of the road."

"It can start pretty quickly, so just kinda try to be aware of your surroundings as you're out driving," she said.

Contributing: Devon Dolan, David Self Newlin, McKenzie Romero, Sandra Yi


Whitney Evans

KSL Weather Forecast

Updated: Sunday August 19, 2018 10:37 pm